Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dream of the Orange Elephants (SHB Sew-Along)

My first little project for the SHB Sew-Along is a sleep gown for Taco. I really loved dressing Taco in sleep gowns as a newborn. The gown bottom makes nighttime changing easy and the convertible mitten cuffs protected Taco from scratching his face in his sleep. When he outgrew the newborn size, I was surprised to find very few in the next size (3mos), which he wears now, and none in the 6mos size.

I loved these Carter's sleep gowns for Taco when he was newborn

The only solution will be to sew them myself. However, I couldn't find any gown patterns in larger than newborn sizes (there's a free newborn one on our SHB Sew-Along Pinterest board). So I ended up using Butterick 5585 view E and altering the bottom to make it a gown instead of little pants. 

View E is the bottom right romper thingy.

This was a really simple alteration.  I traced the front and back pattern pieces, which were designed to be cut on the fold, and then I drew from the bottom of the pant leg to the center fold to make the bottom half a gown instead of pants.  I also added an inch or two of length since I want the gown to cover Taco's little toes.

Front and back pieces.

I also altered the sleeves so that they would have convertible mitten cuffs. But I'll cover that in another post.

Once my pieces were altered and fabric cut, the gown was a cinch to sew. I used strips of bright orange jersey to finish the neck and chose to have it show rather than sew it to the inside, as instructed.  For the bottom hem, I sewed a channel for some 3/8" elastic, which I cut to 14".


I used my serger for just about all of the construction. I hope that that isn't the decision that undoes this project; I think the seams are nice and soft, but baby skin is sensitive. So, it may have been smarter in the long run to take the time to finish the neck in the more time consuming bias tape way - sew one side, flip to inside and stitch again, encasing the seam allowance. We'll see.

The fabric is a cotton jersey print from Riley Blake that I bought at It's nice and soft.

Right now, this is a bit large on Taco, so I decided not to torture him by making him try it on for photos. I suspect that the pattern runs a bit large, but I can't really be sure. Taco is a long but skinny baby.  Overall, I'm happy with how it came out, but we'll see how it does when Taco grows into it.

Next posts: Convertible Mitten Cuffs and a Ring Sling for me!


Clio said...

Ahhhh, so cute!!!

Clio said...

Those will be so cute on your baby boy!

Clio said...

1. Elephants AND orange? Too adorable for words.
2. Serger finish is softer than you seem to dread.
3. Babies are pretty tough. Their skin is not as sensitive as purveyors of special laundry detergents, soaps, and shampoos would have you believe. BUT, in case you need to use the best ointment in the whole wide world, seek out some Flanders Buttocks Ointment. It is made in South Carolina; you can order it from their website or on Amazon; it is nice enough to sell at a department store cosmetics counter but you can get it at a Piggly Wiggle grocery store. Smells so much better than ointments made with fish oil. (I even used it to treat sore nipples from incessant nursing.) ((Also great to treat mosquito bites.))

Clio said...

This looks amazing and I see your point with the nightly changes. I wonder why they don't sell them later that 6 months, do all children learn to go potties by that time?

Clio said...

None! It's more like 24-30 months for most tots!

Clio said...

I'll have to look into the Flanders and where I can get it locally. So far we haven't had any skin issues (knock on wood)!